Yes, you read the title of this article correctly, the Sacramento Kings have actually been making smart decisions during the 2017 offseason. An organization that has notoriously made questionable picks, signings, and trades for more than a decade, may have turned the corner this year.
The Kings’ draft history, since 2005, has been pretty bad, highlighted by the disappointing results from Francisco Garcia, Quincy Douby, Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson, Thomas Robinson, and Nik Stauskas.
Even with players that have shown a varying level of potential, from Demarcus Cousins, to Hassan Whiteside, and Isaiah Thomas, have all eventually left the team. Cousins, who was the Kings’ best player, was traded last season to the New Orleans Pelicans, in a package that included Buddy Hield. Whiteside is now one of the NBA’s top big men, while Thomas is an All-Star for the Boston Celtics.
Since the early-2000s, when the Kings had Mike Bibby, Jason Williams, Peja Stojakovic, and Chris Webber, and were one of the top teams in the league, they’ve seemingly gotten worse and worse by the calendar year. The Kings haven’t reached the playoffs since the 2005-06 season, when they were the No. 8 seed and lost to the San Antonio Spurs.
But with all of the bad luck and bad decisions that we’ve seen occur in Sacramento, it seems their management, of Vlade Divac and Dave Joerger, are beginning to make the right choices.
In the 2017 NBA Draft, the Kings drafted De’Aaron Fox No. 5 overall, before trading the No. 10 pick to the Portland Trailblazers, and in return, received the No. 15 and No. 20 selections, who they used on Justin Jackson and Harry Giles, respectively. Their first two picks were regarded as smart and safe, with a good amount of upside, while the Giles choice, has a bit of risk and high reward, because of his injury history.
Now in free agency, the Kings have let go of Darren Collison and Ben McLemore, a couple of players that underperformed, while improving the roster with signing of veterans Zach Randolph and George Hill. Randolph, 36, averaged 14.1 points per game with the Memphis Grizzlies last year, while Hill, 31, put in an average of 16.9 points with the Utah Jazz.
Sacramento is still a ways away from being a playoff contender, but for now at least, it seems like the organization has picked a route, and has begun making smart decisions, which can go along way in the NBA.
Feature Image Credit: A Sea of Blue.